Television has taken us inside the Premier League, into the lives of its players and managers, as never before but what is it really like to be a referee in the modern English game, trying to control a bunch of millionaires and their stressed-out leaders?
Then getting home to find out you’ve made a mistake and been identified in millions of households as public enemy number one? To be issued with death threats on social media by football ‘fans’ who say they hope your cancer returns?
ADDED TIME takes you where no other book has gone - inside the dressing rooms on match days, into the intense tunnel and on-field conversations and confrontations between officials and the game’s participants. It chronicles the highs and lows, joy and pain, and reveals the human face of that man in the middle.
Mark Halsey also lifts the lid on surviving the internal politics, personalities and intrigue of top-flight refereeing, on altercations with Sir Alex Ferguson and earfuls from Wayne Rooney.
Running through Halsey’s powerful and poignant story is his brave battle with throat cancer, through surgery and gruelling treatment, after which the popular Halsey returned to the top. It granted him no immunity from the dangerous stresses that can afflict the modern referee, however - stresses that included those death threats.
What kept him going for 17 years at the top? Strength of character, a loving family - and the unlikely friendship of a man supposedly the enemy of referees: one José Mourinho.